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Yoga Philosophy 101: Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

Lesson 2: Make Every Pose Steady and Comfortable

Yoga Philosophy 101–Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras–Lesson 2: Make every pose steady and comfortable

Our Second Yoga Philosophy 101 Lesson teaches us to make every pose in Yoga class and every role in life “steady and comfortable.”  Patanjali’s sutras guide us to perform actions without exertion and with kindness and meditation on the Divine consciousness within. 
In our last newsletter, I asked you to guess how many of Patanjali’s 196 yoga sutras are specifically about yoga postures or asanas. If you answered “three,” you are correct.

Yoga Sutras Book II, 46-48: Here are the only three yoga sutras that relate to the performance of asanas (postures), as translated by B.K.S. Iyengar–

  • II, 46: Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence, and benevolence of spirit
  • II, 47: Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached
  • II, 48: From then on, the sadhaka
    [spiritual practitioner] is undisturbed by dualities

And so the sutras tell us that first, our poses are to be steady and comfortable and performed with kindheartedness, rather than exertion. The way we do our poses or asanas in Yoga is also a metaphor for how we perform the various roles we play in relationships, family, work, community and all life experiences.

Secondly, Patanjali notes that the poses (roles) are to be done effortlessly with focus on the spiritual or infinite being. This sutra reminds us to gently extend into our yoga poses while focusing on the Divine within rather than struggling to achieve any external goal. We are to remain centered with Grace and ease, as we consciously connect with the Divine energy within and throughout the universe.

And thirdly, when we are able to master our poses (and roles), we will be able to transcend the polarities such as good and evil, strength and weakness, right and wrong, or success and failure.  In this state of perfect being, we are beyond the pulls of judgment and remain objective, allowing and welcoming all that comes to us. There are no good days and bad days; there are just days in which we remain witness to whatever life brings. We will achieve the state of ultimate neutrality as we observe life unfolding. That is the benefit of mastering our poses and roles in life. It’s certainly something to live into as best we can.

In our next newsletter, we will discuss the challenges we all fall prey to and ways to overcome suffering. We will share Patanjali’s sutras that address five problems all humans face

By | 2017-04-05T19:08:57+00:00 February 4th, 2016|Patanjali's Yoga Philosophy|Comments Off on Yoga Philosophy 101–Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras–Lesson 2: Make every pose steady and comfortable